Intelligence sharing with host nations in multinational operations: Hurdles and dilemmas in Afghanistan
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- Forsvarets høgskole 
This thesis explores a narrow but important aspect of the conflict in Afghanistan when it seeks to identify limitations on ISAF’s ability for sharing intelligence with the Afghan National Security Forces. The case study is exploratory and utilizes a mixed methods approach where the initial qualitative phase aims to identify what ISAF intelligence officers recognize as hurdles for sharing. Data is collected through interviews, field observations and participation in partner meetings. The concurrent quantitative phase is based on a survey of all-source analysts and aims to expand on the qualitative research and also to identify how the analysts’ perceptions influence ISAF’s ability for intelligence sharing. Even though ISAF has got the appropriate documentation and processes in place, a lack of education, training and open debate on moral dilemmas leave too much latitude and uncertainty in the hands of individuals. Missing quality control with the work of interpreters, the absence of universal standards for security markings, different national policies, procedures and caveats together with a mix of theatre-wide information systems are major obstacles for collaboration and limit ISAF’s ability for sharing intelligence with the Afghan National Security Forces. Also the underdeveloped Afghan security standards add problems of legitimacy, and it degrades the important level of trust between the partners. The combined effect of these challenges seems to be less sharing, and at a higher security cost than probably intended.